Bernard Lodge will benefit immensely from Master Plan, says Vaz

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Bernard Lodge will benefit immensely from Master Plan, says Vaz

Friday, February 14, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, says that farmers and residents of Bernard Lodge, and surrounding communities in St Catherine, stand to benefit from the most comprehensive mixed-use development in modern Jamaica, with the introduction of the revised Greater Bernard Lodge Development Master Plan (GBLDMP).

“As a result of this plan, Bernard Lodge, Portmore and the surrounding areas, which now function primarily as dormitory communities, will be transformed into a fully integrated township equipped with all the necessary amenities. Furthermore, we have regularised the status of everyone who occupied the Bernard Lodge lands, this includes informal squatters and lessees who were previously in arrears,” Vaz told a press conference today at Jamaica House.

“This plan will bring more agricultural lands into production and incorporate modern and efficient infrastructure while creating new facilities for commercial, activities, light manufacturing and social services.

“The Master Plan will improve the living and working conditions for the people of Bernard Lodge and create employment and opportunities that all residents will benefit from,” the minister said.

Decrying the fact that only 25.4 per cent of the land currently apportioned for agriculture in Bernard Lodge is in production, Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, praised the provisions of the revised plan, which will create 3,028 acres of active agricultural space and accommodate both small and large-scale farming activities.

Green noted that the number of agricultural leases in Bernard Lodge will be increased from 171 to 235, under the revised Master Plan.

“This means more farmers will be able to take advantage of the modern infrastructure, high tech farming methods and state-of-the-art irrigation system that will be introduced as part of the plan. Agriculture is one of the most essential sectors for the Jamaican people and economy, which is why the Government is implementing the necessary changes to improve the productivity and efficiency of the industry,” Green said.

Joseph Shoucair, Managing Director for SCJ Holdings Ltd, the oversight authority for the GBLDMP, stressed the consultative and collaborative nature of the process that led to the final Master Plan.

“Everything entailed in the Master Plan is the result of extensive consultations with all the stakeholders, including the farmers and residents of Bernard Lodge, the relevant public officials, Ministries, Agencies and technical experts, as well as the Private Sector,” Shoucair said.

“This development was designed for the people of Bernard Lodge, and with their specific needs and concerns fully taken into consideration,” he added.

Presentations were also made by Milverton Reynolds and Peter Clarke, managing directors of the Development Bank of Jamaica and the Water Resources Authority, respectively.

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